Amsterdam’s best known sex club owner Jan Otten dies at 82

The old buildings of hte red light district let in wind, rain and sound Photo:

One of the most famous faces in Amsterdam’s red light district, Casa Rosso owner Jan Otten, has died at the age of 82.

Otten became owner of Casa Rosso, where he had worked since the 1980s, in 1997 and later expanded his empire with other red light attractions, including the Bananenbar, the Erotic Museum and the Sexy Loo public toilets.

“Jan was much loved and as well as being an iconic entrepreneur, he was a friend and father to those around him and he will be sorely missed,” the sex theatre said on its website.

Otten’s career in De Wallen was not without incident. In 1983, 13 people died in a fire in the Casa Rosso, following an arson attack by a former employee.

In 1917, two masked men tried to rob him while he was on his way home from the club, which resulted in his private security guard getting shot. And some 15 years ago, the clubs where threatened with closure by the city council as part of a clean up campaign, but officials later relented.

All Otten’s sex outlets were closed on Friday as a mark of respect. “The red light district was close to his heart; he and his companies were actively committed to any initiative to improve the neighbourhood and its image,” the website said.

“We would also like to mention his great love for animals and his work with the residents of De Flesseman nursing home. He showed his commitment and support with deeds, not words.”

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